It takes a whole lot of people to get us across the country, and I’m sure we will talk about the organization and our sponsors over the next few weeks but I wanted to take a few minutes to reflect on the people that helped me personally make it to the eve of the National Kids Cancer Ride (NKCR). I’m hoping I don’t miss anyone important…
Getting to the ride means raising funds to help fight childhood cancer, and it is one of the most important things that we do leading up to (and during) the NKCR. So far this year, I have over 110 individual sponsors, and that’s really what makes this tick! Amongst those are a pair of notable groups:
- My co-workers at Citrix Systems: Citrix has an amazing culture of corporate citizenship, and it shows here. Together you helped me raise over $4,500 through individual donations from employees, and through their employee matching program, bring that to over $9,000 in funds raised this year alone. The company has supported me without question through the past few years of fundraising, as well as allowing me the time to train and ride in NKCR and Tour For Kids events.
- The Van Dyks and the Toss ‘Em up for Childhood Cancer ringtoss: This amazing family and community have suffered their own loses to childhood cancer and run this event in honor or Nick Van Dyk, Cassie Man, Amanda Allen, Kate Merner and Rebecca Kipfer-Pryce. The event has been going on for 11 years, and they have raised over $585,000 in support of the National Kids Cancer Ride. Assisting the national riders, the Van Dyks helped me through a difficult phase fo my fundraising by donating a portion of this year’s event proceeds.
In addition to donations are fundriasers, and events where the riders get out into the community to raise funds and awareness. Amongst those events were a day at Union Station, handing out giveaways and taking donations with my fellow rider Frank Molinari, a charity barbeque at Kamikaze Bikes with food from Bent Taco, and the Havelock Country Jamboree. These are also fun events where we get to be out talking to people, hearing their stories and sharing ours.
Fundraising is a big part of what we do, but after all we need to ride our bikes to in the National Kids Cancer Ride, and that takes equipment that is capable of handling over 2800 km of riding in 18 days. I personally couldn’t do it without the support of my local bike shop, Kamikaze Bikes, who in addition to helping me fundriase over the last few years, providing space and help with the barbeque this year and a bike raffle in 2017, make sure both my bike and I are ready to go. A huge thank you to Kris and Holly at Kamikaze for all that they have done for me over the past few years, and especially this year.
Finally I would be remiss (and probably disowned) if I didn’t mention the most important team that helps me make this ride a reality: My family. This comes in two parts, my wheel family – the riders and volunteers from previous years, who provide support in so many ways, including the Wheatleys, who put up with me in their house for a few days in July for Tour for Kids Alberta (and who are instrumental this year in getting us a place and food for our stop in Calgary on the ride).
And of course, my real family – my wife Janet, and kids Katerina and Galen, who provide the love and support I need through the crazy days throughout this year, dealing with my stresses and needs for training without question, and will deal with the quasi-emotional wreck I will be after the ride. I love you more than you can possibly know and will miss you throughout the next 3 weeks of riding.
With that, I think I will try to get some rest before I fly out to Vancouver to begin the ride… Again, thank you to all who have supported me up to this point, and all who will support both me and this great cause as we make our way across Canada.